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3.13.4 Pocket Money and Allowances


This procedure applies to children placed in Southwark's foster homes, but the principles apply to the placement of all Looked After Children. Therefore, where Looked After Children are placed with parents, kinship carers or in placements not managed by the authority, the social worker must ensure these or other adequate procedures are applied.


Looked After Children Who have their Own Funds


  1. General
  2. Principles - Pocket Money
  3. Principles - Clothing and Other Allowances

1. General

Arrangements must exist in all foster homes for the payment of pocket money and clothing or other allowances for children.

The arrangements should be set out in the Foster Care Agreement or the Placement Information Record for individual children.

In the absence of such arrangements, the following must be adhered to:

2. Principles - Pocket Money

Each child should be given an amount of pocket money, usually weekly. The giving of pocket money should be recorded and, preferably, signed for by the child.

Children should be encouraged and supported to open and maintain bank accounts and, if possible, their pocket money and other allowances should be paid into these accounts.

If there are concerns about the manner in which children are spending their money or allowances, these concerns should be discussed with the child and the social worker if the concern is serious. If there is a serious risk, the arrangements for giving money to the child may have to be restricted, but the child's social worker should make such a decision.

Deductions from pocket money may not be made for fines or Sanctions except for reparation of malicious damage or to pay fines determined by a Court. 

If the Court imposes such deductions or fines, not more than two thirds of a child's pocket money may be taken in any week.

If carers impose such deductions for reparation in the home, not more than two thirds of a child's pocket money may be taken in any week for a period of not more than four weeks.

See also Sanctions Procedure.

3. Principles - Clothing and Other Allowances

Children should be informed what allowances or financial arrangements exist for the purchase of clothing, personal requisites (such as hair care products), birthdays and religious festivals. 

Over time, depending on their age and level of understanding, they should be given freedom and responsibility to budget for and spend allowances for their clothing and personal requisites, preferably as part of a plan to prepare for their independence.

Even if children are not allowed to purchase clothing and other personal requisites, they should be involved in decision making and exercise choice, through normal shopping arrangements. 

The arrangements for accessing and spending clothing and other allowances should be recorded. Deductions from clothing or other allowances should not normally be made as a Sanction or to pay for fines imposed by the Court.